Unlike the East, Gas Prices Stay Stubbornly High Out West
Declining prices for crude oil have brought relief at the gas pump for much of the nation, but not for drivers on the West Coast, where retail gasoline prices have been rising this month.
“We are seeing a tale of two coasts,” says Michael Green, spokesman for AAA, which monitors pump prices. “On the West Coast, gas prices are rising steadily, while on the East Coast they are steadily decreasing.”
Oil analysts blame a refinery slowdown in western states for sending retail prices in the opposite direction of wholesale costs.
In California and Oregon, the average price of regular gas has increased 20 cents a gallon so far in May, AAA reports. Average pump prices were down 19 cents in Florida and 18 cents in Virginia.
The imbalance is obscured by the national average, which has fallen to $3.72 from $3.90 a month ago, according to the auto club. California’s average price of $4.37 is well above Florida’s $3.59, and higher than any state except Hawaii and Alaska.